“Supervising Women Workers” was a short World War II-era social guidance film produced by the US Office of Education and aimed at male foremen who now had to supervise women for war work. “Women scare me,” a foreman tells his boss at mark 01:30, helping set the tone. The film depicts the social and gender relations and attitudes of its time. It notes that most of the women had never been in industry before (mark 01:48), and were unfamiliar with the terminology and mores common to the plant. Each thing had to be broken down and explained in detail (mark 03:00). The film also reminds men that women of the day have been at work in things like knitting and sewing, and that these skills could be appropriated for war work. In a short vignette starting at mark 04:20, the foreman returns home to his wife, complaining about all the women asking for time off. His wife then tells him she had to cook, clean, and take care of the children all day, at which point the foreman realizes that women really work two jobs, one in the factory and the other at home. At mark 06:30, we learn that there are four basic rules to supervising women workers: don't mix business with pleasure; remember that women are awfully jealous of each other; avoid undue familiarity; and remember that women are more sensitive than men. In another vignette at mark 07:40, a foremen gets into an argument about a woman not wearing a protective hat, and it is shown that he has to explain to her why the protective cap was necessary. “To all the rules of supervising women add just one more,” the foreman is told at mark 10:15. “Act quickly. Never let a situation get underway.”
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